Increased understanding of the early determinants of obesity is essential because of the increasing prevalence of obesity in many industrialized countries.
As part of the evaluation of a school-based heart health promotion intervention, we measured height, weight, and triceps skinfold thickness at baseline in 2108 students aged 9-12 years (80.5% of eligible students) in 24 inner-city elementary schools located in multiethnic, low income neighbourhoods in Montreal, Canada. Data on student's socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics were collected in classroom-administered questionnaires, and parents completed an at-home self-administered questionnaire.
Overall, 35.2% of boys and 33.0% of girls were overweight (> or = 85th age and gender-specific percentiles from NHANES 11, for body mass index and triceps skinfold thickness); 15.1% of boys and 13.3% of girls were obese (> or = 95th age and gender-specific percentiles for body mass index and triceps skinfold thickness). Younger age, having lived all one's life in Canada, and being of European or Central American/Caribbean family origin were independent correlates of obesity in boys. Younger age, ever smoked, mother obese and father obese were independent correlates of obesity in girls. Girls of Asian family origin were protected.
The very high prevalence of overweight students in this low income, multiethnic population suggests an important need for preventive intervention.
The objectives were to evaluate the impact of "Yes, I Quit" (a smoking cessation course tailored for women in a low income, low education community), and to identify baseline predictors of short and longer-term self-reported cessation. The impact was evaluated in a before-after study design with no comparison group. Baseline data were collected in self-administered questionnaires at the beginning of the first session of the course. Follow-up data were collected in telephone interviews at one, three and six months after the designated Quit Day. Self-reported quit rates among 122 participants were 31.1%, 24.7% and 22.3% at one, three and six months. Non-quitters reduced their consumption by 10.3, 8.3, and 7.1 cigarettes per day at one, three and six months. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that being in excellent/good health was significantly associated with cessation at one month (odds ratio (OR) = 2.4). Being married (OR = 13.0) and no other smokers in the household (OR = 3.6) were associated with three-month cessation. Only being married was associated with six-month cessation (OR = 6.8). "Yes, I Quit" produced quit rates among low income, low education participants comparable to those reported for cessation programs directed at the general population of smokers. Good health is associated with early cessation, while support from a spouse is important to maintaining a non-smoking status among quitters.